Why Choose Us?

Comment from Ian Stark OBE

Four times Olympic silver medallist, three times winner of Badminton Horse Trials, former European Champion


"I have always had a special interest in the importance of promoting careers within the horse industry. Thanks to the exceptional support and guidance of Stubbing Court Training Ltd, I’m delighted to relate that over many years much has been done and achieved in all the right directions."


"Going back to November 2002, when we started by holding the first, very successful SkillHORSE at SkillCity in Manchester, where we introduced thousands of young people to the equine industry. We also incorporated a competition for the top sixteen apprentices from throughout the country, celebrating the excellence they have attained and giving all others something to aspire to. The winner received a £1000 training bursary, unprecedented for apprentices in the horse industry."


"This theme has continued and many informative Masterclasses have been held for trainees and employers, to help promote the best working atmosphere and understanding within the industry. The Masterclass Series has promoted the value and importance of Apprenticeships as the best route possible for young people entering the industry and improving their skills. Many of the trainees involved have won or achieved placements for work experience in ‘top level’ yards, which helps to improve young people’s standards and awareness of what is expected. These placements have led to permanent jobs for the committed and hard working."


"Ofsted reported on the ‘outstanding’ quality of the training programmes run by SCT. I am delighted that what we are doing has been recognised at this very prestigious national level, and that SCT’s quality of provision is available for all young people and employers in the horse industry."



Cassie-ArnoldCassie Arnold


“For the past 19 months I have been working for Jeanette Brakewell. I am currently on my Advanced Apprenticeship. I have had many opportunities to go and groom at a large range of events such as Chatsworth, Somerford and Oasby. I have been able to do a lot of travelling and competing in my first season of eventing with my horse, with the highlight of the season finishing 1st in BE100 at Oasby. We are currently training hard with Jeanette jumping and schooling and hopefully moving up to Novice level this season. I have been taught alot, not just with riding but with the care of competition horses, injuries and general yard care.”


Edward AustinEdward Austin


“For the past year I have been an apprentice with leading International riders Mark and Tanya Kyle. I have had many opportunities to groom at 1 and 3 day events. I have done a lot of traveling this season going to Eglinton in Scotland and many others.”


I have aldo competed my own horse, going up to Pre Novice in our first season and was placed at the Pony Club Championship. With Mark and Tanya's help I have received a lot of training with my jumping and flat work. I have also been taught a lot about turn out of the horses, which has improved a great deal!


Ben McClumphaBen McClumpha

 “I completed the Advanced Apprenticeship with Stubbing Court Training. I have been interested in horses for as long as I can remember, growing up through the Pony Club, competing to Area level in both show jumping and eventing. It was when I left school after my GCSEs that I first got involved with SCT.


It was through SCT I was fortunate to get a placement with International show jumpers Andrew & Emma Saywell, based in Nottinghamshire. Riding the horses, travelling to shows and keeping the yard maintained, it was a very exciting experience, as it was the first time I had lived away from home. Whilst I was there I completed the Apprenticeship. I also had the opportunity to spend a week with Ian Stark at his yard in Scotland, which was a great experience. I was with the Saywell family for around 15 months and thoroughly enjoyed the experience.


I then started working for the leading International lady event rider and Grand Slam winner Pippa Funnell. I spent the season preparing horses for International events such as Badminton and Burghley, as well as preparing the young and novice horses for more low-key events. This was also the start of the Olympic year, with a lot of work going into the preparation of Primmore’s Pride, such as increasing the fittening work and galloping in a full-length rug covering the neck to tail, to help the horse adjust to the sweltering temperatures of Athens.


Towards the end of the eventing season, shortly after Burghley, I changed sides and went on to ride for Pippa’s husband, International show jumper William Funnell.


William’s show jumping yard has a totally different routine to the eventing yard. We currently have 18 horses in at the moment, and 4 young horses out in the field, who will shortly be coming in to be broken. I have the opportunity to ride the top international horses as well as getting to work and jump the other horses on the yard. We have a lot of young homebred horses that are broken and ridden away. I also have a few horses that I am able to compete; they are currently jumping the 5 year old and Performance classes, Newcomers and 1.10m. I have also jumped my first Young Rider’s class at Ardingley, South of England.


If it were not for the help of Stubbing Court Training, I would never have had the opportunity to get on the ladder and start to work my way up, with such top people. Not only have I had the hands on experience that future employers look for, but I have also achieved qualifications, including Key Skills in Communication, Application of Number, Working with Others and Information and Communication Technology – all of which are needed in the industry today.”


Kirsty BuchananKirsty Buchanan

 “I joined the team at Queenholme Equestrian in July 2012, working for international event riders Mark and Tanya Kyle. In my time here I have learnt a huge amount and been given many fantastic opportunities. I have learnt a great deal about turning out horses to competition standard and been given the chance to groom at numerous one and three day events, including the World 6 and 7 year old Championships in Le Lion d'Angers. I have also been allowed to break in and ride some of Mark and Tanya's youngsters, which has been a great insight for me as it has allowed me to see where they start from and watch them develop into top class event horses. All of this, combined with a lot of help and training from Mark and Tanya with my jumping and flatwork helped me enormously to achieve my Advanced Apprenticeship. This year I was lucky enough to win the SCT Apprentice of the Year award, I feel very privileged to be recognised by SCT and very grateful for all their help and support over the past few years.”


kirsty youngKirsty Young


I have been working at HK Horses for Morgan Kent and Richard Howley for one year. We are an international showjumping yard based in Wetherby. The highlight of my year has been grooming at 5* Nations Cup shows in Switzerland, France and Belgium representing Team Ireland, as well as grooming at The Sunshine Tour in Spain for 2 months. In a short amount of time I have learnt a huge amount about caring for top level horses and have enjoyed every minute.”


Laura Fretwell


"Through SCT I have had the amazing opportunity to do the Apprenticeship with Michael Whitaker, helping me to get the experience and knowledge I never thought I would - it’s a dream come true. Being on a yard with such talented horses and grooming at international shows is something I never thought I would get to do. I’m gaining the skills that will stay with me for my future career with horses."


Teaching and Learning

SCT focuses on continuously improving the quality of teaching and learning in Underpinning Knowledge training sessions, through the SCT Online Learning programme, the Masterclass Series and in the workplace.


Recent successes have included:

  • All SCT trainers and employers have been through an intensive Employer Professional Development programme, activities including observations of teaching, seminars, Masterclasses and Equine Transport qualifications
  • SCT one of 10 providers nationally to improve numeracy teaching through the STEM programme
  • Variety of Innovation projects to promote world class training, including: ‘Optimum Employer Engagement’, ‘World Class Apprenticeships’, ‘Peer Referencing on Employer Engagement’, and ‘SkillHORSE skills competition’
  • SCT has worked hard to develop new teaching and learning materials for the land-based sector, and innovations in Online Learning
  • SCT has worked extensively with a variety of external agencies and other providers to promote best practice in teaching to improve standards for all industries and providers
  • Specialist Maths and English support through Portfolio Workshops
  • The Masterclass Series enabling all trainers and employers to have training from world-class trainers, including Ian Stark OBE, Mark Kyle, Yogi Breisner, Michael Whitaker, Joe Whitaker, Matthew Sampson, Christopher Bartle and Jeanette Brakewell
  • Skillscheck booklets to structure and record Workplace and Underpinning Knowledge training, and competence
  • Trainer Training for all employers
  • Employers enabled to achieve the CIEH Health and Safety qualification through SCT


Henry DayHenry Day

 “Completing my Advanced Apprenticeship has given me confidence that I have the required skills and qualifications to succeed in the horse industry. The flexibility of this scheme has enabled me to continue training, co-running the family training livery business; Lambley Paddocks Dressage, and keeping up with the demands of a full competition schedule. In the past season I have had over 40 top 3 placings in BD affiliated competition up to Advanced level, was the regional Novice Open Champion, and have recently taken the ride licensed breeding stallion San Remo who I will compete next year.”


Megan PeacockMegan Peacock

 “I began my apprenticeship with SCT training at Cowley Riding School, where I worked with horses of all shapes and sizes, and assisted children, adults and disabled riders with lessons. For my Advanced Apprenticeship I am working with showjumping family Ellen, Joe, Steven and Donald Whitaker, who all have major success at national and international level. Working at a large busy competition yard was a completely new experience, I am excited to be learning new skills and working with horses from novice to international level. Throughout my apprenticeship I have gained many skills and had amazing oppurtunities to do valuable work experience, including writing for a dressage judge at Chatsworth International Horse Trials and grooming at county and championship shows.”


Noah PolesNoah Brook


“I did my Apprenticeship with top dressage trainer Andrew Day. I found the Apprenticeship helped me massively in the start of my career learning all about horse health and fitness. I completed my Advanced Apprenticeship with world-renowned event horse producer and judge Judy Bradwell and continued there for over a year, where I did most of my competing. I successfully competed a few of her horses and took my own horse from BE 100 to winning our first 1* at Aske International. I'm now based at Andrew Saywell's tuning up my show jumping, getting the opportunity to compete a few of his horses as well as my own. ”